The Hull City manager was in charge at Bramall Lane for the 2015-16 campaign. Hopes were high that Adkins, with three previous promotions from League One on his CV, could lead the Blades back to the second tier.
However, he was unable to replicate those previous successes at the helm of Scunthorpe United and Southampton.
Instead results were disappointing and he was sacked after finishing 11th, eight points adrift of the play-offs. Chris Wilder succeeded Adkins and led United to the League One title a year later.
“I was manager at Sheffield United and obviously things didn’t work out how we would have liked it to,” said the Tigers’ chief ahead of his first return to the Lane since being shown the door.
“But it is a great football club. Passionate supporters who want to see their team full of passion.
“They had been in League One for several seasons, things weren’t working out, and it was a big shame. But I enjoyed my time there.
“There are good people there, the fans are passionate, and it is a great job Chris Wilder has done to get them back in the Championship.
“Who knows, after last season can they back it up and get themselves back in the Premier League?”
Adkins did face the Blades as Hull manager last season, the East Riding outfit getting the better of his old club thanks to a second-half strike from Nouha Dicko.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker is expected to be one of several changes made by Adkins tonight in the Carabao Cup, a competition Hull bowed out of a year ago at this stage against Doncaster Rovers after Leonid Slutsky turned to the Under-23s due to a lack of signings.
Dicko has been on the bench for Hull’s first two league outings, while others expected to come in include Jackson Irvine, Angus MacDonald and Will Keane.
George Long, following his summer move from Sheffield United, could also be in line for his Hull debut.
“We will make changes,” said Adkins, “although we haven’t got that many players to make changes with.
“But there are some players who weren’t involved (at Sheffield Wednesday) that need game time.”